Astronomers fear the dark side of apocalyptic rumors.
NASA scientists have been debunking pseudoscience and fantasy about the Mayan apocalypse partially because they worry frightened teens might commit suicide over the hoax.There are literally millions of people who are afraid who think the world will end, said David Morrison, an astrobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center. One particularly pervasive rumor concerns a fictitious planet, which Sumerians supposedly discovered, called Nibiru. On its current orbit, the fictional planet is slated to crash into Earth on Dec. 21, this years winter solstice, according to the hoax. Some people are so worried about the supposedly impending apocalypse that they cannot sleep or eat. Others have even started contemplating suicide as a way to avoid the chaos of end times, according to Morrison."While this is a joke to some people and a mystery to others, there is a core of people who are truly concerned," said Morrison. On behalf of NASA, Morrison routinely answers scientific inquiries submitted by the public. However, over the last few years, legitimate questions have been overwhelmed by questions about a 2012 doomsday. Morrison claims to have received many letters and emails from anxious people but he is particularly concerned about the effect end-of-days rumors might have on young people. I think it's evil for people to propagate rumors on the Internet to frighten children," said Morrison. Nibiru was originally predicted to collide with Earth in May 2003 but when that month came and went without cataclysm, doomsday prophets pushed the date back to December 2012. This move linked the suspected catastrophe with the end of a cycle in the ancient Mayan calendar, according to NASA.
NASA scientists emphasize that there is no basis for this claim. If a planet were heading toward Earth, astronomers would have started tracking it at least a decade ago. People would also be able to view it with the naked eye. It would, in fact, be the brightest object in the sky after the sun and moon. You can dispel this rumor yourself. You don't have to ask the government or ask scientists.
Just go out and look at the sky. You will find no new bright object heading for the Earth.